Clinical massage and modified Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretching in males with latent myofascial trigger points

The objective of this study was to determine the immediate effects of modified Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching (group I) versus Myofascial Trigger Point (MTrP) therapy plus modified PNF stretching (group II) in comparison to a control group receiving no treatment. Thirty physically active males with tight hamstrings and at least one latent MTrP on muscles innervated by the lumbosacral, sciatic, tibial and common peroneal nerves. Knee range of motion (ROM), stretch perception, pressure pain threshold (PPT) and subjective pain intensity were measured. Outcomes were evaluated at baseline, immediately after treatment, at 10 and 30 min. Significant changes over time occurred for group II in all outcomes (p ≤ 0.001). Group II also showed lower pain intensity scores than group I immediately post-treatment (p = 0.045) and a strong clinical effect over group I in ROM at all follow-ups. Other differences were found between both stretching groups as compared to the control group (p ≤ 0.05).

The results indicate immediate pre- to post-treatment benefits from MTrP therapy combined with modified PNF stretching in young and physically active males with latent MTrPs.

Athanasios Trampas, Athanasios Kitsios, Evagelos Sykaras, Stamatios Symeonidis, Lazaros Lazarou. Clinical massage and modified Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretching in males with latent myofascial trigger points. Physical Therapy in Sport, 5 May 2010, online article ahead of print

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